Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Alumni 2010s

20182017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 20132012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2000s |1990s

By the time students have earned degrees from Middle Eastern Studies, they will have acquired a firm grounding in the current theory and practice of their specific discipline and often in one or more national tradition. They will have conducted research in a specific area of Middle Eastern Studies, such as history, film studies, comparative literature, Ancient Near East, Islamic Studies, etc, research that will prepare them to contribute their expertise to a wide range of fields in the public and private sectors. Please see our job placement pages for detailed placement data. 




Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Claire Sloan Cooley (Ph.D., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Dissertation: Sonic Stardom: Gender, Nation, and Sound Media Technologies in Al-Hind, 1900s-1960s Supervisor: Blake Atwood 


Paul Edgar (Ph.D., Ancient Near East/Hebrew Bible)
Dissertation: Clever Among the Strong: Small Powers in War and Peace, 1595-1340 BCE Supervisors: Jeremi Suri and John Huehnergard


Laura Fish (Ph.D., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Dissertation: Arisen From the Grave: Collecting and Distributing Mid-Century Iranian Popular Cinema Supervisors: Blake Atwood and Caroline Frick
Seerwan Hariry (Ph.D., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Dissertation: Arabic Novels by Kurdish Authors: Reconfiguring the Rise and Fall of the Muslim Republic of Letters
Supervisor: Karen Grumberg
Sigrid Kjaer (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible / Ancient Near East)
Dissertation: Monotheism, Kingship, and Religious Transformation in Late Antique Yemen: The Rise and Fall of Joseph Du Nuwas
Supervisors: John Huehnergard and Azfar Moin


Tracey Maher (Ph.D., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Dissertation: Imagining Diaspora: Arabic Novels from Early Twentieth Century Latin America  
Supervisors: Kristen Brustad and Elizabeth Richmond-Garza


Navdeep Kaur Sokhey (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: Vowel-Rounding in Bahrain: An Interactional Study on Accommodation Based on Perceived Interlocutor Identity   
Supervisor: Jonathan Kaplan
Jack Weinbender (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible / Ancient Near East)
Dissertation: Remembering and Rewriting: Reframing Rewritten Bible Through Memory Studies  
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad 

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Amy Broome (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Reimagining Linguistic Landscape: Online Discourses of Israeli Human Rights Organizations
Supervisors: Mohammad Mohammad and Elizabeth Keating


Patrick Harned (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis: Democratic Confederalism: A Radical Model for Political Emancipation in Northern Syria
Supervisors: Zoltan Barany and Lorinc Redei


Arkan Kazal (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Shock and Awe: The U.S. Led Invasion and the Struggle of Iraq's Non-Muslim Minorities
Supervisors: Kamran Aghaie and Faegheh Shirazi


Yassir Ibrahim Mohammed (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Gender Biased Interpretation of the Quran: Contextualizing Q 4:5 and the sufahā’ 
Supervisors: Hina Azam and Faegheh Shirazi


Robyn Morse (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Qābūs’ Modern Sultanate of Oman: Citizenship, Foreign Policy, and Religious Institutions in the 1970s
Supervisors: Kamran Aghaie and Samy Ayoub


Blake Pye (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Tahqiq, Human Perfection, and Sovereignty: Ibn al-'Arabi and Early-Modern Islamic Empire Supervisors: Azfar Moin and Denise Spellberg


Emily Scott (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Israeli-Arab Authors Claiming Hebrew Identity: The Case of Anton Shammas and Sayed Kashua 
Supervisors: Karen Grumberg and Ahmad Agbaria


Garrett Shuffield (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis: A New Generation “Returns”: Fracture, Disorientation, and Tragedy in Lina Meruane’s Volverse Palestina and Rabai al-Madhoun’s Maṣā’ir
Supervisors: Karen Grumberg and Jeremi Suri




Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Mahmood Al Fkaiki (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: Interactions of Negation and Other Categories in Varieties of Arabic
Supervisor: Mohammad Mohammad
Niaz Aziz (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: Impoliteness in Iraqi Arabic
Supervisor: Mohammad Mohammad


Sarah Baker (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East )
Dissertation: The Suffering Psalmist: Liminality, Lament, and the Religious Community
Supervisor: Jo Ann Hackett and Na'ama Pat-El


Shehnaz Haqqani (Ph.D., Islamic Studies)
Dissertation: Islamic Tradition, Change, and Feminism: The Gendered Non-Negotiable
Supervisor: Hina Azam


Juan Pinto (M.A., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Thesis: Creating a Frequency Dictionary of Spoken Hebrew: A Reproducible Use of Technology to Overcome Scarcity of Data 
Supervisor: Esther Raizen


Josh Sears (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East)
Dissertation: "An Ancestral Custom Of Ours": Second Temple Interpretations Of Polygyny In Biblical Narrative
Supervisor: Jo Ann Hackett


Michael Turner (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: Definiteness in Arabic Dialects
Supervisor: Kirsten Brustad


Daniel Wang (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East)
Dissertation: Circumcision As A Kinship Ritual In Ancient Israel
Supervisor: Jonathan Kaplan

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Casey Boyles (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Power Consolidation in Turkey: Erdogan's End Goal 
Supervisor: Jason Brownlee


Evan Burt (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis: The Jasmine Revolution: Causes in Synthesis     
Supervisor: Jeremi Suri


Courtney Diranieh (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: The Role of Multilingualism  and Environmental  Influences on Identity Perceptions among University Students of Part-Arab and Part-Non Arab Ethnicities
Supervisor: Mohammad Mohammad


Adam Crawford (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis:  Rethinking US Religious Freedom Policy in the Middle East & North Africa: Responding to Assertive Secularisms and the Rise of Islamism
Supervisor: Jeremi Suri


Amber Howard (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Between Us Bread and Salt: Battiri Cuisine and Al-Unah
Supervisor: Blake Atwood


Amanda Jarvis (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Brothers on The Periphery: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez 
Supervisors: Kamran Aghaie and Michael Hillmann


Aleksandr Krylov (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: The GCC Joint Regional Security Effort: Utopia or Possibility?     
Supervisor: Zoltan Barany


Catherine Malek (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.A., Journalism)
Report: Who Speaks for the Middle East: A New Generation of Journalists is Challenging the Way Their Region is Covered  
Supervisor: Blake Atwood and Tracy Shelby


Tori Pell (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Implementing Ideologies: Examining the Local Women's Movement in Jordan (2015-2018)  
Supervisor: Hina Azam


Annika Rettstadt (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis: The Islamic State in Europe: Shifts, Trends, and Projections 
Supervisor: Jeremi Suri and Paul Pope


Darya Rudych (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: OPEC'S Successful Failure: The Analysis of OPEC'S Political Decline in the Late 1970s       Supervisor: Jeremi Suri and Kamran Aghaie


Paul Ryan (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis: The Role of Religion, The Ikhwan And Ibn Saud in the Creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia   Supervisor: Jeremi Suri


Bryan Sitzes (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral student in MELC
Thesis: Alienating Iranians from their Environment: Irrigation, Flood Control, and Public Health in Late Pahlavi Khuzestan   
Supervisor: Kamran Aghaie


Nicholas Teale (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Understanding Maritime  Conflicts between Turkey and Russia: Merits, Limitations, and Alternatives to Realism
Supervisor: Zoltan Barany and Samy Ayoub


Leena Warsi (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Report: Memories of a New Word Order: A study of Egypt's Participation at the Bandung Conference of 1955 
Supervisor: W.R. Louis


Zuli Yasen (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Thesis:  China's Energy Policy in the Arab World
Supervisor: Jeremi Suri 



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Lameese Ahmad (M.A., Arabic Linguistics)
Thesis: The Development of Interlanguage in the Written Production of Arabic Foreign Language Learners 
Supervisor: Mahmoud Al-Batal


Mona Alshihry (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: Durative Aspect Markers in Modern Arabic Dialects: Cross-Dialectal Functions and Historical Development
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad


Rachel Green (Ph.D., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Dissertation: Toward an Ethics of Intersubjectivity: Affective Textures of Empathy in Modern Arabic and Hebrew Literature and Film
Supervisor: Karen Grumberg


Benjamin Kantor (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East)
Dissertation: The Second Column (Secunda) of Origen's Hexapla in Light of Greek Pronunciation
Supervisor: Na'ama Pat-El and John Huehnergard


Jason Schroepfer (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: Aswan Arabic: Negotiating Identity in a Provincial Capital 
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad


Sarah Schwartz (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Doctoral student in MELC
Thesis: Repping the Streets, Repping the Hometown: A Sociophonetic Analysis of Dialectical Variation in the Moroccan Hip Hop Community 
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad


Phillip Weston Stokes (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics)
Dissertation: The Historical Grammar of Case in Arabic
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad


Rawad Wehbe (MA, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures)
Thesis: Fever Dreams: Narrative (De)structuring in Arabic Literature 
Supervisor: Tarek El-Ariss

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Agaate Anston (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Transformations of the Contemporary Mystic Discourse in Iran 
Supervisor: Kamran Aghaie


Mitchell Alan Bacci (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral student in History, Harvard University
Report: Smugglers and State-Builders: Opiate Trafficking and Institutional Development in Interwar Egypt and Turkey 
Supervisor: Tarek El-Ariss


Samuel Ross Belcher (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Hostile Relations: Representing Arabs and Muslims in Historically Based War Films  
Supervisor: Blake Atwood


Javid Riahi (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: The Power of Food: Negotiating Health and Identity in Tehrangeles 
Supervisor: Sofian Merabet


Caitlin Sale (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Marriage in Iranian Cinema: A Metaphorical Platform for the Discussion of Women's Rights in Post-Revolutionary Iran 
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood


Angela Tripp (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  The Sacrifice of Saying No: Dyanimcs of Conscientious Objection, Liberalism, and Sacrifice in Israel
Supervisor:  Karen Grumberg


David Wood (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis: Brothers in Arms? Military Economic Entitlements and Public Quiescence in Modern Egypt
Supervisor:  Jason Brownlee




Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Dena Afrasiabi (Ph.D., Persian literature and Applied Linguistics)
Dissertation:  Come, Let's Wrestle:  Language and the Struggle for Authority in Online Persian Social Networking Sites
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood


Bruce Boville (M.A., Islamic Studies). Doctoral student in MELC
Thesis:  Themes and Concerns of the Saudi Board of Senior Scholars
Supervisor:  Hina Azam


Kevin Butts (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). 
Thesis:  Excavating a Linguistic Category:  On the Properties of Ism Al-Fi'l and the Limits of Kalam Al-Arab
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Matthew Chovanec (M.A., Arabic & Turkish Literature). Doctoral student in MELC
Thesis:  Bereketli Topraklar Uzerinde:  Dialogic Speech as Subaltern Insurgency
Supervisor:  Jeannette Okur and Kristen Brustad


Priscilla Cunha (M.A., Arabic Language Pedagogy/Applied Linguistics). Arabic Teacher at Austin Independent School District
Thesis:  An Approach to Classifying Listening Strategies for Use in Arabic as a Foreign Language Classroom
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Ryan Davis (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East)
Dissertation:  Relating With Gods:  Investigating Human-Divine Relationships in the Prayers of Israel and Mesopotamia Using a Performance Approach to Ritual
Supervisor:  John Huehnergard


Anna Ziajka Stanton (Ph.D., Arabic literature)
Dissertation:  From a Labor of Love to Gulf Labor:  The Ethics of Translating Arabic Literature in a Global Age
Supervisor:  Tarek El-Ariss
Aren Max Wilson-Wright (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East)
Dissertation: Athtart: The Transmission and Transformation of a Goddess in the Late Bronze Age
Supervisor:  Na'ama Pat-El and Jo Ann Hackett

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Camille Bossut (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Arabization in Algeria:  Language Ideology in Elite Discourse, 1962-1991
Supervisor:  Benjamin Brower


Norah Elamir (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  The Theological Concept of 'Isma From Early to Modern Period of Islam
Supervisor:  Denise Spellberg


Reem Harb (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Muta' Safadi and the Generation of Fate:  A Study of an Arab Existentialist
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua


Jeanne Canan Kaba (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  The Political Dimension of Nuclear Energy:  Analysis of Discourse on the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, 2010-2015
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


Saffiya Latif (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral student in Religious Studies, Boston University
Thesis:  She was a Pious Devotee:  Piety, Authority, and Women in Medieval Islam
Supervisor:  Hina Azam
Joseph Leidy (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral student in History, Brown, University
Thesis:  Antun Saadeh in the Mahjar, 1938-1947
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua
Kate Maddox (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral student in Anthropology, UT Austin
Thesis:  Archiving the Present in Beirut's Southern Suburb:  Memory, History, and Power at Umam Documentation and Research
Supervisor:  Sofian Merabet



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Reema Barakat (M.A., Arabic Language Pedagogy/Applied Linguistics). Lecturer of Arabic, the University of Texas at Austin
Thesis:  The Resurrection of the Caliphate in ISIS' Discourse
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Claire Cooley (M.A., Arabic/Persian Literature & Cinema). Doctoral Student in MELC
Thesis:  The Citizen Viewer:  Questioning the Democratic Authority of the Camera Phone Image
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood
Anthony Edwards (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Lecturer of Arabic, Washington & Lee University
Dissertation:  Performing Arabic at the Learned Societies of Beirut, 1846-1869
Supervisors:  Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal


Mahyar Entezari (Ph.D., Persian). Lecturer of Persian. University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation:  The Other Self:  Representations of Afghans in Iranian Cinema
Supervisor:  M.R. Ghanoonparvar, Kamran Aghaie
Valerie Montes (M.A., Arabic). Media Analyst, TechOp Solutions
Thesis:  Urban Mediterranean Dialects of Arabic:  Tangier and Tunis
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Jung Min Seo (Ph.D., Arabic) 
Dissertation:  Towards Integrating Culture into the Arabic Curriculum: Arabic Teachers' Reliefs Related to the Teaching of Culture
Supervisor:  Esther Raizen


Navdeep Sokhey (M.A., Arabic). Doctoral Student in MELC
Thesis:  The Women (and Men) Who Speak Funny: Negotiating Social Meanings Through Palatalization of the Cairene Nasal
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Philip Zhakevich (Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East). Lecturer of Modern Hebrew, Princeton University
Dissertation:  The Tools of an Israelite Scribe:  A Semantic Study of Terms Signifying the Tools and Materials of Writing in Biblical Hebrew
Supervisor:  John Huehnergard


Emilie Zuniga (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Visiting Professor of Arabic, Brigham Young University
Dissertation:  An Instrumental Study of Pausal Vowels in Il-Gilli Arabic (Southern Turkey)
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Tarek Benchouia (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral Student in Performance Studies. Northwestern University
Thesis:  Festivals:  The Culture and Politics of Mahraganat Music in Egypt
Supervisor:  Tarek El-Ariss


Weston Bland (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Communal Competitiveness in Transition:  Coptic Politics 1943-1955
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua


Willis Cumming (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Report:  Azharite Clerics in Egypt:  Protection of their Professional Religious Role in a Changing and Political Environment, 1805-1968
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua


Steven Damiano (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Report:  How Iran Could Democratize
Supervisor:  Faegheh Shirazi


Gayle Fischer (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.S.I.S., Information Studies)
Thesis:  Digital Middle Eastern Studies:  Challenges, Ethics, and the Digital Humanities
Supervisor:  Karin Wilkins


Anna Gibson (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Federal Government.
Thesis:  Should Old Acquaintance (Not) Be Forgot:  United States' Policies and Actions in Iraq and their Effects on the Lasting Presence of Iraqi Shi'i Militias (2003-2011)
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


John Gloer (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Graduate student in Finance at McCombs School of Business, UT Austin
Thesis:  Ninth-Century Abbasid Depictions of Jahiliyya Arabness
Supervisor:  Karin Wilkins


Patrick Higgins (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Report:  Divine Victory:  Uses of the 2006 War in Hezbollah Muqawama Rhetoric
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua
Kelly Houck (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral Student, UT Austin, MELC Program
Thesis:  Children in Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema:  Visions of the Future
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood


Jennifer Hunt (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  "I Died, Still Waiting on the Truth":  Self-Identification and Communicating Personal Ethics in the Documentaries of Exiled Iranian Female Filmmakers
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood


Paige Ingram (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; Dual-Language Track in Arabic and Persian). Staff at the Center for Survivors of Torture
Thesis:  Trials of Identity:  Investigating Al-Jahiz and the Zanj in Modern Pro-Black Discourse
Supervisor:  Denise Spellberg


Philip Issa (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Reporter, Daily Star Newspaper, Beirut
Thesis:  Abu Maher Al Yamani and the Unheralded Palestinian Leadership in 1950s Lebanon
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua


Sarah Kaiser-Cross (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies; Dual-Language Track in Arabic & Hebrew). Senior Project Manager at ACLED
Report:  The GCC Pivot to Asia:  The Security of US Interests in the Arabian Gulf
Supervisor:  Jeremi Suri


Elliot Klosterman (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Intelligence Analyst, US Department of State
Thesis:  History of Baathist Regime Resilience in Syria from 1970 to 2014
Supervisor:  Zoltan Barany


Matthew Martin (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Conflict Politics Surrounding the Advent of ISIS: An Iranian Media Perspective
Supervisor:  Faegheh Shirazi


Laura Partain (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral Student, Indiana University, Media Studies
Thesis:  Resistance is No Longer Futile:  Women's Rights in Lebanon
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood
David Petit (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.GPS., Global Policy Studies)
Report:  Eschatology in the ISIS Narrative
Supervisor:  Azfar Moin


Melissa Smyth (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Associate Editor, Warscapes
Report:  Abu Ghraib and the Activation of Complicity:  Deconstructing the Frame
Supervisor:  Karin Wilkins
James Stewart (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; Dual-Language Track in Arabic & Hebrew). Graduate student in Accounting at McCombs School of Business, UT Austin
Thesis:  Impartial Allies:  American Policy in Palestine During the Truman Administration
Supervisor:  Jeremi Suri



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Shaylyn Carey (M.A., Arabic). Resident Assistant, CET Academic Programs:  Amman, Jordan
Thesis:  Behind the Linguistic Landscape of Israel/Palestine:  Exploring the Visual Implications of Expansionist Policies
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Ryan Fan (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Doctoral student in MELC.
Thesis:  Verb Agreement, Negation, and Aspectual Marking in Egyptian Sign Language
Supervisors:  Richard Meier, Kristen Brustad
Kate Goodin (M.A., Arabic Literature). Doctoral student in MELC.
Report:  Translation Theory and Practice in the 'Abbasid Era
Supervisor:  Tarek El-Ariss
Uri Kolodney (M.A., Hebrew Literature). Judaica & Hebraica Bibliographer. UT Austin Libraries
Thesis:  A Different War, A Different Sex:  Gay Identity Politics in Israeli Cinema and Its Relation to the Zionist Ethos
Supervisor:  Karen Grumberg


Katie Martins (M.A., Arabic Linguistics)
Thesis:  Vowel Terminology as a Method for Dating Early Arabic Grammatical Texts: A Case Study of Kitab Al-Jumal Fi L-Nahw
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Michael Mendoza (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Lecturer of Arabic at UT Austin, Department of Middle Eastern Studies.
Thesis:  Recurring Themes in Gulf Arabic Dramatic Television
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Muna Rehman (M.A., Arabic Language Pedagogy/Applied Linguistics). Lecturer of Arabic at the University of Oklahoma, Norman
Thesis:  Developing Intercultural Communicative Competence in the Arabic Curriculum: A Survey of Learners at the Beginner Level
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Thomas Sowards (M.A., Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East)
Report:  Deuteronomy 25:5-10:  A Rite for the Living of the Dead?
Supervisor:  Jo Ann Hackett
Julie Yelle (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Critical Language Scholarship Resident Director, American Councils for International Education
Thesis:  The Role of Language in Constructing Palestinian Collective Memory
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Adam Cameron (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Armenian Iranian Identities in the Institutional Home Visit:  A Case Study
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood


Ian Gillen (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Conviction:  The Policy Impact of L. Paul Bremer
Supervisors:  Kamran Aghaie and Jeremi Suri


Clay Hardwick (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Foreign Area Officer.
Report:  Strategic Drift in Military-to-Military Relationships and its Effect on U.S. Foreign Policy
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


Emily Hawthorne (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Regional Director, Dubai. The Prospect Group.
Thesis:  Chains of Trust: Halal Certification in the United States
Supervisor:  Faegheh Shirazi
Alex McLelland (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Report:  Emergency Cinema in Syria:  (Re)Envisioning Documentary-As-Witness
Supervisor:  Blake Atwood
Leah Miller (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Analyst, Numu Consulting (Tunisia)
Report:  The Polisario Front and the World:  Leveraging International Support for Sahrawi Self-Determination
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


Allison Minor (M.A./M.GPS., MES and Global Policy Studies). International Development Fellow at Catholic Relief Services (Lebanon). Program Manager for Arab Aid Tracking.
Thesis:  Faith in Finance:  The Role of Zakat in International Development
Supervisor:  Karin Wilkins (with Catherine Weaver, co-supervisor)


Megan Pritchard (M.A./M.GPS., MES and Global Policy Studies). Federal Government
Report:  Formal Systems and Informal Networks:  Iranian Power Politics in Principle and Practice
Co-Supervisors:  Jeremi Suri and William Inboden


Robin Richards (M.A./M.GPS., Middle Eastern Studies and Global Policy Studies dual-degree). Compliance Analyst, Emerging Technology Fund, State of Texas Governor's Office.
Report:  Terrorism in the Sinai
Supervisor:  Jeremi Suri (with Jason Brownlee, co-supervisor)


Amy Stoller (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  True Citizens of Bahrain:  Discourse on Bahraini Identity Since the Arab Spring
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


Lauren Williams (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies) 
Thesis:  Another Other:  Redefining Feminism on Al-Jazeera
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Christine Baker (Ph.D., Arabic, History). Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation:  Challenging the Shi'i Century: The Fatmids (909-1171) Buyids (945-1055), and the Creation of a Sectarian Narrative of Medieval Islamic History
Supervisor:  Denise Spellberg
Kevin Burnham (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Assistant Professor of Arabic, Appalachian State University
Dissertation:  Phonetic Training for Learners of Arabic
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Joanna Caravita (Ph.D., Hebrew, Arabic). Lecturer of Modern Hebrew, Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges
Dissertation:  Identity and Anxiety in Teachers of Arabic and Hebrew: The Native vs. Non-native Speaker Question
Supervisor:  Esther Raizen
Rachel Green (M.A., Hebrew/Arabic Literature). Doctoral Student in MELC, UT Austin
Thesis:  Towards a Poetics of the Black Hole: Trauma, Memory and Language in Samir Naqqash's Shlomo Al-Kurdi, Myself and Time
Supervisors:  Tarek El-Ariss and Karen Grumberg
Shehnaz Haqqani (M.A., Islamic Studies). Doctoral Student in MELC, UT Austin
Thesis:  Gendered Expectations, Personal Choice, and Social Compatibility in Western Muslim Marriages
Supervisor:  Hina Azam


Alan "Bud" Kauffman (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Visiting Assistant Professor, Denison University
Thesis:  Grammar Sequencing in the Communicative Arabic Classroom: Students' Written Production
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Nastaran Kherad (Ph.D., Persian Literature). Assistant Professor of Persian, Qatar Academy
Dissertation:  Re-examing the works of Ahmad Mahmud: A Fictional Depiction of the Iranian Nation in the Second Half of the 20th Century
Supervisor:  Mohammad Ghanoonparvar
Somy Kim (Ph.D., Persian, Comparative Literature). Lecturer of Middle Eastern Literature and Cinema, Boston University Writing Program
Dissertation:  Mapping Dystopia in Ebrahim Golestan's Mud Brick and Mirror
Supervisor:  Mohammad Ghanoonparvar


Summer Loomis (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Assistant Professor of Arabic, George Washington University
Dissertation:  "Advanced" Arabic: Investigating Learners' Lexical Richness in the Context of an Oral Interview
Supervisor:  Esther Raizen, Kristen Brustad


Alexander Magidow (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Assistant Professor of Arabic, University of Rhode Island
Dissertation:  Towards a Sociohistorical Reconstruction of Pre-Islamic Arabic Dialect Diversity
Supervisors:  Kristen Brustad and Patience Epps


Melanie Magidow (Ph.D., Arabic Literature). Lecturer of Arabic, University of Rhode Island
Dissertation:  Multicultural Solidarity: Performances of Malhun Poetry in Morocco
Supervisor:  Samer Ali


Drew Paul (Ph.D., Arabic/Hebrew Literature). Assistant Professor of Arabic, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dissertation:  Border Fiction:  Fracture and Contestation in Post-Oslo Palestinian Culture
Supervisor:  Tarek El-Ariss


Jason Schropefer (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Doctoral Student in MELC, UT Austin
Dissertation:  Rihla Lughawiya Fi Il-Lahajat Il-Sa'idiya: A Phonological Description of Stop Variant in Upper Egyptian Arabic
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Johanna Sellmann (Ph.D., Arabic, Comparative Literature). Faculty Librarian of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Ohio State University
Dissertation:  The Biopolitics of Belonging: Europe in Post-Cold War Arabic Literature of Migration
Supervisor:  Tarek El-Ariss

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Valerie Atwood (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  The Baghdad Railway
Supervisor:  William Roger Louis


Daryl Carr (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, Dual-Language Track in Arabic/Turkish). Doctoral Student in Sociology at Boston University
Thesis:  The Syrian Conflict in Lebanese Media
Supervisor:  Karin Wilkins


Hope Collins (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Linkage and the Case of Political Deliberalization in Morocco
Supervisor:  Jason Brownlee


Stephanye Hunter (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
Thesis:  Yemeni Jewish Identity in the Writing of Simha Zaramati Asta
Supervisor:  Karen Grumberg



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. & Ph.D.

Kristine Anderson (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Research Assistant, Brookings Institution (Project on US Relations with the Islamic World)
Thesis:  Sexual Harassment Discourse in Egypt:  A Sociolinguistic Analysis
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Andrey Bredstein (Ph.D., Hebrew Literature). Instructor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture, Emory University
Dissertation:  Uri-Nisn Gnesin:  Between the Worlds, Belonging to Both
Supervisor:  Karen Grumberg


Greg Ebner (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Arabic instructor and Deputy Department Head, U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
Dissertation:  Enhancing the Capabilities of Arabic Learners:  Language Learning Strategies in the Arabic Classroom
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Michael Fares (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Lecturer of Arabic, University of Houston
Thesis:  Letters from the Goodwill Brothers of Basra:  A Medieval Islamic Message of Tolerance and Pluralism
Supervisor:  Samer Ali


Kaley Keener (M.A., Arabic Literature). Teaching Fellow in Arabic, Franklin & Marshall College
Thesis:  Ibn Hamids and the Poetry of Nostalgia: A Rhetoric of Collective Memory
Supervisor:  Samer Ali


Martin Isleem (Ph.D., Arabic Linguistics). Assistant Professor of Arabic, Bucknell University
Dissertation:  Language Attitude and Change Among the Druze in Israel
Supervisor:  Kristen Brustad


Cory Jorgensen (Ph.D., Arabic Literature). Assistant Professor of Arabic, George Washington University
Dissertation:  Jarir and al-Farazdaq's Naqa'id Performance as Social Commentary
Supervisor:  Samer Ali


Benjamin Koerber (Ph.D., Arabic Literature). Assistant Professor of Arabic, Rutgers University
Dissertation:  The Aesthetics and Politics of Rumor:  The Making of Egyptian Public Culture
Supervisor:  Tarek El-Ariss


John Weinert (M.A., Arabic Linguistics). Lecturer of Arabic, Smith College
Thesis:  Dialects in the Arabic Classroom: A Pedagogical Survey of Arabic Language Learners
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Timothy Arnold (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies; M.S.Info.Studies dual-degree program)
Thesis:  The Limits of Structural Theories of Revolution: Egypt, Scale, and Twitter as "History 2"
Supervisor:  Megan Winget and Tarek El-Ariss


Beeta Baghoolizadeh (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). The University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. student in History
Thesis:  From Fellows to Foreigners: The Qajar Experience in the Ottoman Empire
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


Lauren Baker (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Project on Middle East Political Science, George Washington Univ.
Thesis:  Managing the Waters Within Area A:  Water Allocation in Jericho as a Case Study for Palestinian Water Management
Supervisor:  David Eaton


Jennifer Davey (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies).  UT Austin, Comparative Literature, Ph.D. student
Thesis:  Unruly Voices:  Narration of Communal Memory and the Construction of Gender and Community Identity in Assia Djebar's Far From Madina
Supervisor:  Denise Spellberg


Eric Eyges (M.A./M.PAff, Middle Eastern Studies & Public Affairs Dual-Degree Program, Dual-Language Track in Arabic/Persian). Emerging Markets Research Analyst at Ergo
Thesis:  Power Sector Reform and Renewable Energy in the MENA Region:  A Study of Interaction Between These Two Initiatives in the UAE, Egypt and Morocco
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie


Rebecca Hopkins (M.A./M.PAff, Middle Eastern Studies & Public Affairs).  Research Analyst at Courage Services
Thesis:  The Role of Rhetoric in Legitimizing Authority:  The Speeches of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah During the 2006 War
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Rachel Leonard (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, Dual-Language Track in Arabic/Hebrew)
Report:  Arab Jews, Mizrahi Studies and Shimon Ballas' Outcast
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua


Amy Schweiss (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies).  Library Assistant at the Tarlton Law Library at UT Austin
Thesis:  Urbanization, Islamization, and Identity Crisis:  The Role of Pastun Women's Mourning in the Construction and Maintenance of Identity
Supervisor:  Faegheh Shirazi


Luke Steidl (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies).  Sections Department Clerk at the Texas State Bar Assoc.
Thesis:  Value in the Turkish Model of Civil-Military Relations
Supervisor:  Yoav Di-Capua


Jessica Tibbets (M.A./M.GPS, MES and Global Policy Studies Dual-Degree Program).  Academic Advisor at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Thesis:  The Public Distribution System, Consequences of US Food Aid in Iraq
Supervisor:  Kamran Aghaie & Robert Hutchings



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. and Ph.D.

Blake Atwood (Ph.D., Persian). Assistant Professor of Persian, UT Austin
Dissertation:  Re-Envisioning Reform:  Film, New Media, and Politics in Post-Khomeini Iran
Supervisor:  Mohammad Ghanoonparvar


Emilie Durand-Zuniga (M.A., Arabic). Doctoral Student in MELC, UT Austin
Thesis: Word-Final Imaala in Contemporary Levantine Arabic:  A Case of Language Variation and Change
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad


Peter Glanville (Ph.D., Arabic). Assistant Professor of Arabic & Associate Director of Arabic Programs, University of Maryland
Dissertation: The Arabic Verb: Root and Stem and their Contribution to Verb Meaning
Supervisor: Kristen Brustad


Zeina Halabi (Ph.D., Arabic). Assistant Professor of Arabic, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dissertation: Writing melancholy: the death of the intellectual in modern Arabic literature
Supervisor: Tarek El-Ariss


Shon Hopkin (Ph.D. Hebrew). Assistant Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University
Dissertation: Joseph ben Samuel Tsarfati and Fernando de Rojas: Celestina and the world of the go-between
Supervisor: Esther Raizen and Michael Harney


Anita Husen (M.A., Arabic). Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Director of The Markaz Resource Center, Stanford University
Thesis:  A New Understanding of Heritage:  A Case Study of Non-Arab Muslims in the Arabic Classroom
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal


Farkhondeh Shayesteh (Ph.D., Persian). Lecturer of Persian, Yale University
Dissertation: In search of identity: Hushang Golshiri's Ayenehha-ye dardar and other works of fiction
Supervisor: M.R. Ghanoonparvar


Eric Young (M.A., Arabic)
Thesis:  Teaching and Learning Arabic Vocabulary:  A Learner-Centered Approach
Supervisor:  Mahmoud Al-Batal and Martha Schulte-Nafeh



Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

John Blasing (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: The games behind the game: the process of democratic deepening and identity formation in Turkey as seen through football clubs
Supervisor: Clement Henry


Stephen Bush (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Student Services Mgr. at CIEE Study Abroad
M.A. Thesis: Continuity and change in the concept of freedom through three generations of the modern Arab Renaissance (Nahda)
Supervisor: Yoav Di-Capua


James Casey (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral Student, Princeton University
M.A. Thesis: On the traumatic origins of political community in modern Syria
Supervisor: Yoav Di-Capua


Alexandra Frasca (Dual M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, M.B.A., Business Administration)
M.A. Thesis: Dubai, debt, and dependency: the political and economic implications of the bailout of Dubai
Supervisor: Clement Henry


Mary Huizar (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: "There is a Limit":  Israel's "Refusenik" Movement and Its Critics
Supervisor: Ami Pedahzur & Zoltan Barany


Anthony Joyce (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Intern at American Historical Assoc.
M.A. Thesis: George Habash: A New Look at His Origins and Politics
Supervisor: Yoav Di-Capua


Jeffrey Moe (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, and M.S.S. Social Work).  VA Outreach Coordinator and Mental Health Clinician, UT Austin
M.A. Thesis: The perfect storm: violence in Qasim Era Iraq, 1958-1963
Supervisor: Yoav Di-Capua


Carmen Reza (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: Culture shock, trauma, exile, and nostalgia in Iranian-American literature
Supervisor: M.R. Ghanoonparvar


Joanna Schenke (Dual M.A. Middle Eastern Studies / M.P.A. in Public Affairs). U.S. Department of State
M.A. Thesis: Oil Politics in the New Iraq
Supervisors: Clement Henry and Varun Rai


Kelly Stedem (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies). Independent Consultant, Beirut
M.A. Thesis: Syria and Saudi Arabia in Post-Ta'if Lebanon
Supervisor: Clement Henry



Department of Middle Eastern Studies - M.A. and Ph.D.

Britten Milliman (M.A., Arabic)
M.A. Thesis: Key components in a successful Arabic immersion program for high school students: a case study
Supervisor: Mahmoud al-Batal


Ahmad Aminpour (M.A., Persian). Doctoral Student in History
M.A. Thesis:  An Overview of the Flowers of Shoran:  A Kurdish Novel by ‘Atā Nahāyi
Supervisor: Mohammad Ghanoonparvar


Benjamin Koerber (M.A., Arabic). Doctoral Student in Arabic Studies
M.A. Thesis:  The Aesthetics and Politics of Rumor in Modern Egypt
Supervisor: Tarek El-Ariss

Center for Middle Eastern Studies - M.A.

Leah Caldwell (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: The Syrian private media and discourse of the development of the Syrian national economy
Supervisor: Karin Wilkins


Erica Chernick (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: The influence of religion on the character and conduct of the Israel Defense Forces
Supervisor: Ami Pedahzur


Lauren Grifka (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis:  Muslims in Manhattan: those who built it up and those who brought it down
Supervisor: Ami Pedahzur


Meghan Holder (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: Strange magic: healing and protection ritual in contemporary Islam
Supervisor: Faegheh Shirazi


Alyssa Miller (M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies). Doctoral Student, Duke University
M.A. Thesis: The animal at the scene of writing: narrative subjectivities of the Lebanese civil war
Supervisor: Tarek El-Ariss


Tatiana Poltoratskaia (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: Russia's role in the Middle East: Russian weapons sales to the Syrian Arab Republic, 1950-2010
Supervisor: Ami Pedahzur


Dart Risley (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: British interests and the partition of Mosul
Supervisor: Wm. Roger Louis


Rosalie Town (M.A., Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: The development and the use of the negation particles miš and mā...š in Egyptian colloquial Arabic
Supervisor: Na'ama Pat-El


Behrang Vessali (M.A. Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: Iranian-Israeli relations in light of the Iranian Revolution
Supervisor: Kamran Aghaie


Jonathan Wolz (M.A. Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Thesis: Islamic foundations for effective water management: four case studies
Supervisor: David Eaton

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    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712